Polish Music Reference Center Newsletter Vol. 1, no. 9

News Flash

Simon Rattle’s recording of the Szymanowski “Stabat Mater” has made it through the second round of voting for the 1995 Gramaphone Awards. It is in the running, not only for the best Choral recording, but also for engineering. EMI CDC 555121-2.

A NEW International Violin Competition, “THE I GROBLICZ’S FAMILY INTERNATIONAL VIOLIN COMPETITION” will take place in the city of Krakow next year AUGUST 6-25, two months prior to the Wieniawski Competition in October, 1996. The deadline for this one is earlier: December 15, 1995 and it is geared to younger artists. Two age groups: younger than 18 and younger than 22.It is being organized by the Krakow Foundation of Journalists, “Merkuryusz”and the Music Ensemble, “La Rosa”(I Musici da Camera di Cracovia). The founders wish to honor a native son of Krakow, MARCIN GROBLICZ (1530-1609), who heads a dynasty of five generations of violin-makers and who created a new style in Polish violin-making of the 16th and 17th centuries. The trademark of the Groblicz violin is a carved dragon’s head instead of a scroll.

Honorary chairman of the Groblicz competition is Krzysztof Penderecki. Chairman of the jury is the internationally known violin virtuosa, Wanda Wilkomirska. Program consultant is violinist Robert Szreder of Holland. For further information you can Fax from the U.S. 011-48-12-22-20-37.

Polish composers’ works included in the program competition are: Karol Lipinski (Capriccio no. 3 in D major, op. 29; Concerto in D major, op. 21; 3 Capriccios, op. 10);Feliks Janiewicz (Concerto in e minor, no. 5, first part with cadenza); Henryk Wieniawski (Capriccios nos. 2-5, op. 18; Capriccios nos. 2-8, op. 10); Krzysztof Penderecki(3 Miniatures; II Violin Concerto); Witold Lutoslawski (Partita); Grazyna Bacewicz (Sonatas nos. 3,4,5; Concerto no. 4); Joanna Bruzdowicz (Sonata “Spring in America”); Karol Szymanowski (Sonata in d minor, op. 9; Concertos 1 and 2).

The ELSNER POLISH STRING QUARTET made it into the finals of the “Young Concert Artists” International Competition, which will be held in New York in January, 1996. Their performance of the Shostakovich “String Quartet in c minor, op. 110” was considered a revelation.

THE XIIITH CHOPIN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION is now taking place in Warsaw from October 1-22nd. Latest statistics show that out of 260 video cassettes sent in, 140 contestants from 33 countries had been selected to compete before a 24-person jury under the chairmanship of Prof. Jan Ekier. The largest group of pianists selected comes from Poland and Japan, with 23 each. Polish television is devoting 27 hours of coverage of the event.

The 50th CHOPIN PIANO FESTIVAL in Duszniki-Zdroj was held successfully in August. Participants included former laureates of the International Chopin Competition, young candidates from this year’s competition and various winners of other piano competitions. The festival provides an opportunity for candidates to the main competition to perform before audiences.This year’s winner of the Chopin Competition at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, Deborah Lee, was one of the performers at the Duszniki Festival. Performing at the festival in Poland and in a recital in the U. S. is part of the winner’s prize. Ms. Lee was singled out in an article by Roman Markowicz reporting on the festival in Poland for the “Nowy Dziennik” (a Polish daily newspaper in NY) for her superb performance of Chopin’s works and, especially, of the Ravel “Miroirs.” I was fortunate to be at Ms. Lee’s U.S. performance in Denver, Colorado on September 15th and must say that the audience and I were extremely impressed with this talented young artist. Ms. Lee studies with Ann Schein at the Peabody Conservatory.

The critic also commented favorably on polish pianist wojciech Switala; 14 year old japanese pianist Yurie Miura; Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son and Russian pianist, Tatiana Szebanowa, who won the I and II prizes in the 1980 Chopin Competition, respectively.

The KOSCIUSZKO FOUNDATION, an American Center for Polish Cultures, has announced its 1995-1996 Chamber Music Series. The concerts, held at the Kosciuszko Foundation house at 15 E. 65th St., New York City on Sunday afternoons, are broadcast over WZXR FM Radio and feature interesting conversations with the performers hosted by June Le Bell.This year’s series consisting of eight concerts will feature the following groups: The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Aeolian Chamber Players, The Australia Ensemble, The Halcyon String Quartet, The Penderecki String Quartet, Four Nations Ensemble, The Aspen Wind Quintet and the Cassatt String Quartet. Music of Polish composers Chopin, Szymanowski, Lutoslawski, Ptaszynska and Dobrzynski are scheduled.

Marta Ptaszynska has been commissioned to write a work commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of this leading American center for Polish culture. She is writing a work for mezzo-soprano and string quartet for the 4th program of the series on December 10th. For further details regarding the Music Chamber Series, look up “Programs of Polish Music” In addition to this series the Kosciuszko Foudnation has programmed various lectures, exhibits and other recitals for October. On Sunday, October 8th the Marilyn Horne Foundation Recital Series will present “On Wings of Song: Michelle de Young, mezzo-soprano.”

On October 29th at 3:00 p.m. the Foundation will celebrate its 70th anniversary with an Open House and tours of the permanent collection and featured exhibition in its elegant Upper East Side townhouse headquarters. Open to all members, there will be a general meeting with a report by President and Executive Director, Joseph E. Gore, a program of Polish songs and opera excerpts by leading Polish soloists directed by Nina Poland and a reception.

Monica Olszer Jasinska is the Series Director and Director of Development and Thomas J. Pniewski is Director of Cultural Affairs.

Polish-American pianist, Alan Gampel will make his Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall on October 17th at 8:00 p.m. in a Chopin Memorial Concert marking the anniversary of Chopin’s death in 1849. Gampel won the coveted Chopin Award at the Artur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Jerusalem earlier this year. He is the great-nephew of the legendary Polish harpsichordist Wanda Landowska.

“CONCERTO FOR STRING ORCHESTRA” by Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969) has been scheduled for the first program of the 1996 season by the NEW CENTURY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA in northern California. STUART CANIN, concertmaster and director, will also conduct Holst’s “St. Paul Suite,” Takemitsu’s Requiem” and Mendelssohn’s “Octet” arranged for string orchestra. On Friday, January 19th at 8:00 p.m. the concert will be held at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts; on Saturday, January 20th at 8:00 p.m. at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley; on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center; on Monday at 8:00 p.m. at the Center for the Arts/Yerba Buena Gardens and on Tuesday, January 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at Oakmont, Santa Rosa.Arpopos the Bacewicz Concerto for Strings, Lord Yehud Menuhin enjoys leading the Sinfonie Varsovie in this concerto world wide. It has been recorded on Olympia OCD 392 by Jerzy Maksymiuk. Of the eight works for chamber or string orchestra written by this outstanding woman composer of the 20th century, only thre have been recorded recently: Pensieri Notturni and Divertimento (Olympia OCD 311) and the Concerto on OCD 392). LP recording on the MUZA label are SX 1256 (Concerto); XL 0274 (Pensieri), SXL 0586 (Divertimento) and the Warsaw Autumn taping of Contradizione on M-3xw 890. We have the LPs in the Polish Music Reference Center Archives.

It is my understanding that Marco Polo is planning a disc of the remaining chamber orchestra works. A great idea! The most popular of these works “Music for Strings, Trumpet and Percussion”had been recorded twice by MUZA (SXL 0171 and W 567). Also by Philips PHS 900-141 and the Russian label Melodia D013193-6. This is a great work and deserves to be available on compact disc.

Newest Releases

An “exciting new recording with some of the best music for winds from this century” is the way Crystal Records is advertising their new release CD 751. The Westwood Wind Quintet plays the music of Husa, Dahl and Sapieyevski with “spirit, finesse, polish and magnificent articulation” (Fanfare). The group has been playing together since 1959 and have recorded more than 15 albums.Of special interesty is the “Arioso” for woodwind quintet with Richard Pressley, trumpet by Jerzy SAPIEYEVSKI, a Polish born composer now living and teaching at American University in Washington, D.C.

Attention Violinists!

Time to prepare for THE XI INTERNATIONAL HENRYK WIENIAWSKI VIOLIN COMPETITION to be held in Poznan, Poland October 12-27 next year. Works by Polish composers included in the Program of the Competition are: Lipinski (Capriccio in D major no. 3 from op. 29); Karlowicz (Concerto in A major); Lutoslawski (Partita); Szymanowski (a poem from “Myths” or Romance, op. 23; First and Second Violin concertos); Paderewski (Sonata in a minor, op. 13); Wieniawski (Capriccio from op. 10, nos. 1-8; Polonaise in D major, op. 4; Polonaise in A major, op. 21; First and Second Violin Concertos).For further information or application forms you can fax 48 (country code), 61 (city) and 52-89-91. Deadline for applications is June 1, 1996. The competition is open to violinists of all nationalities, up to age 30, i.e., born after October 12, 1966. Lord Yehudi Menuhin is the honorary chairman and the internationally renowned Polish conductor, Stanislaw Wislocki, will serve as chairman of the jury.


Born This Month

  • Karol Szymanoeski (October 3, 1882)
  • Stanislaw Skrowaczewski (October 3, 1923)
  • Zbigniew Rudzinski (October 23, 1935)